Open Compute Project: One Year In

We asked ourselves some questions a little over a year ago. What if we applied open-source software principles to the hardware industry? What if we could mobilize a community of passionate people dedicated to making data centers and hardware more efficient, shrinking their environmental footprint, while accelerating the pace of innovation?

To answer those questions, we formed the Open Compute Project a year ago today. The Open Compute Project (OCP) coincided with the launch of the Facebook data center in Prineville, Ore., where OCP hardware and designs made their production debut. In our commitment to openness and sharing with the industry, we released the initial specifications and CAD models for all the OCP technologies: the data center mechanical and electrical designs, motherboards, power supplies, battery backup solution, and server chassis and "triplet" cabinet.

We're seeing many indications that the open hardware concept is working. Our peers and technology suppliers are thinking differently about how to innovate in the scale compute space. Some are building open hardware based on OCP designs. Others are procuring and deploying OCP hardware. Resellers are beginning to build businesses around open hardware.

A community has formed around the project, attending two OCP summits last year to collaborate, share and learn.

And the pace of innovation is accelerating: great ideas are flowing through the incubation committee, ideas shaped by industry's best minds. The committee decides on the best projects for the OCP.

OCP is evolving into a project based on open innovation, where we publish specifications before we build prototypes. This way, we can get feedback from the community and improve upon the designs before they launch as products. This is unlike anything we've seen in the scale compute industry so far.

We had no idea we could have made this much impact this quickly. And to keep up the momentum, we're gathering again in San Antonio for our third OCP summit to talk about the OCP's focus and values, the progress we've made and what we plan to do next.

See you in San Antonio!